France's performance in the 2002 World Cup brought back painful memories of a time when France was a weak contender in world and European football -- a time when national or club teams rarely won, and the French were renowned for having little interest in the game. Today, football plays a unique role in French society. French players and coaches are highly sought after abroad and the national team has chalked up significant recent victories, including a World Cup and European Championship. This book is the first in English to examine the extraordinary cultural, economic, and political history behind French football's development throughout the twentieth century and up to the present day. It focuses on the past twenty years and concludes with a discussion of the fallout from the World Cup 2002.
TURNED DOWN "Well, if those fellows haven't got nerve!" "I should say so! Why it's a direct insult!" "We ought to challenge 'em to a sham battle. I know we could put it all over 'em at that game, if we can't at football; eh, fellows?" "Sure thing!" came in a chorus from a group of cadets who surrounded a rather fat, good-natured companion. The latter held an open letter in his hand, and had just finished reading it, the contents causing the various exclamations. "Say, Beeby," spoke Paul Drew, "are you sure it isn't a joke? Maybe they're just trying to have fun with us." "Fun! This is serious enough," replied the stout youth, "Frank Anderson, manager of the Blue Hill Academy eleven, takes pains to be very explicit. Listen." Once more Beeby read the note. "In reply to your challenge for a series of football games, in the Military League, and your request that we give you a contest at an early date, we regret to say that our team cannot play yours. To be frank, we do not think that your eleven is in the same class with ours. We won nearly every game we played last season, and, you know, as well as do we, that Kentfield was away down at the tail end. "It is the sense of the Athletic Committee of Blue Hill Military Academy that we must play with teams of greater strength and in a better class than the one that represents Kentfield. If you wish, perhaps I can arrange some games with our second team, but not with the first.
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